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Monthly Archives: September 2014

No Pumice for Me :(

What a roller coaster I’ve been on the past few days.  After ordering two 17 lbs bags of Kanuma soil (Pumice), I received notice from the store that they don’t actually have Kanuma and don’t expect to get any.  What?  Then how was I able to add the product to my cart and go through the entire checkout process?  Grrrr…so frustrating!  The store was very apologetic and is going to refund my money, but still, I’m aggravated.

So what now?  I’ve contacted the local Bonsai society to see if they can get Kanuma or know where I can buy it.  They said they just use the turface, chicken grit, and pine bark mix I was using before but directed me to two other Bonsai Clubs that *might* be able to get it and one other local grower who sells soils and has some exotic types.  I’ve sent emails to them all, but as of now, I don’t know if any have or can get Pumice.

So what is it about Pumice that makes it so hard to get here in Canada?  If it really is as great as everyone says it is, why aren’t growers bringing in trucks filled with the stuff.  Maybe the Lithops fancy isn’t as strong here but we certainly have enough Bonsai enthusiasts to make me think we could get some specialized soil mixes.  Oh, and FYI, many of the American suppliers are no longer shipping to Canada either – regardless of how much you are willing to spend.

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Wouldn't You Like to Know

 

L.Lesliei ‘Albinica’ – 1.5 Years Old

I just love watching my Lithops as they gather energy from the morning sun.  They seem to glow as though they are illuminated from the inside.  I can see how they got the nickname “living jewels”.

These are 1.5 year old Lesliei Albinica plants I grew from seed.  They are from the 2013 planting.  Aren’t they gorgeous?!!

Albinica_Sept2014

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Lesliei, Lesliei Albinica

 

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I found Pumice!!!

I have news!  I found a supplier of Pumice in Canada!  It’s marketed under the name Kanuma Soil and it can be found in Bonsai stores.

Okay, so that’s the good news.  The bad news is…I haven’t found an Ontario supplier yet.  So, if you are in BC, you are super lucky because you can buy Kanuma Soil for under $35 for a 17 lbs bag and pick it up at the nursery for free.  If you are in Ontario like me, you have to ship it, and as we are all fast discovering, shipping rocks is expensive.  I, however, am so tired of mixing soils/stones/substrates and I never seem to get it quite right so I bit a big bullet and ordered two 17 lbs bags of Pumice.  While shipping was expensive, it was still cheaper than buying a small bag from the States and shipping to Canada, so maybe that’s a bit of justification?  And Christmas is coming, right?!  Either way, what is done is done, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!  I hope 34 lbs is enough to last me a few years.  I might still mix it with my poultry grit and clay to make it last longer 😀

This is where I bought it…happy shopping!

http://www.japanbonsai.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=65&products_id=204

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Wouldn't You Like to Know

 

L. Terricolr Peersii

I’ve always loved Terricolors. I have a secret obsession with them, actually. I think the draw is their coloration. They remind me of the mottled skins of elephants with their pink and purple hues and grey spots (the windows). I used to believe Terricolors were underrepresented in Lithops culture and certainly under-appreciated. I was delighted to see they rose to the top in the ‘favorite cultivar’ survey I held a couple months ago!

These are one year old Terricolor Peersii (catalogue #2014-11). I imported them from Germany and am happy to report that they are doing well and none the worse for wear after their long trip. They seem quite hardy and I’m hopeful they are going to do well here. I have read that this variety of Terricolor does tend to be a bit smaller than other Lithops and these particular plants are showing to be petite in stature so perhaps it is true.  They will have yellow blooms once mature and with the nice color variations I’m already seeing in this pot, I think once they are in bloom, it will be a sight to behold for sure!

007

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Terricolor

 

Water Bombs

It is important to note that Lithops, unlike other plants, have not evolved the ability to stop taking up water once they’ve had their fill. Lithops evolved in very hot and very dry conditions and it was important for them to take in all available water whenever the opportunity presented itself. In their natural habitat, it was rare for there to ever be an overabundance of water so the Lithops genus never needed to self-regulate their water intake. When you think of this, it makes sense that if you over water a Lithops, it will drink until it bursts – literally!  So we need to discard the old wives tale that ALL plants will only take up as much water as they need.  That is simply not the case for our charmingly unique Lithops.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Lithops Care, Wouldn't You Like to Know